Respiratory Viruses in Invasively Ventilated Critically Ill Patients—A Prospective Multicenter Observational Study

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Abstract

Objectives:

The presence of respiratory viruses and the association with outcomes were assessed in invasively ventilated ICU patients, stratified by admission diagnosis.

Design:

Prospective observational study.

Setting:

Five ICUs in the Netherlands.

Patients:

Between September 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014, 1,407 acutely admitted and invasively ventilated patients were included.

Interventions:

None.

Measurements and Main Results:

Nasopharyngeal swabs and tracheobronchial aspirates were collected upon intubation and tested for 14 respiratory viruses. Out of 1,407 patients, 156 were admitted because of a severe acute respiratory infection and 1,251 for other reasons (non–severe acute respiratory infection). Respiratory viruses were detected in 28.8% of severe acute respiratory infection patients and 17.0% in non–severe acute respiratory infection (p < 0.001). In one third, viruses were exclusively detected in tracheobronchial aspirates. Rhinovirus and human metapneumovirus were more prevalent in severe acute respiratory infection patients (9.6% and 2.6% vs 4.5 and 0.2%; p = 0.006 and p < 0.001). In both groups, there were no associations between the presence of viruses and the number of ICU-free days at day 28, crude mortality, and mortality in multivariate regression analyses.

Conclusions:

Respiratory viruses are frequently detected in acutely admitted and invasively ventilated patients. Rhinovirus and human metapneumovirus are more frequently found in severe acute respiratory infection patients. Detection of respiratory viruses is not associated with worse clinically relevant outcomes in the studied cohort of patients.

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